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Interim Study, What's That?

Interim studies are studies of legislative and policy issues that may be requested by any member of the House or Senate. They often address issues that have been the subject of legislation that failed to pass in previous sessions, or that are deemed worthy of more in-depth consideration.

Interim studies must be requested by House and Senate members by a deadline set by each chamber. The Senate President Pro Tempore does not approve or disapprove interim study requests but assigns them to the appropriate standing committee. The committee chair then decides which studies will be heard. Traditionally, the House Speaker decides which  studies to approve or disapprove, but in 2016, all 71 House interim study requests were approved and assigned to a committee. In some case, House study requests on similar subjects are combined into a single study. Some studies are considered jointly by the House and Senate.

Interim studies are typically held from September to November and usually meet at the State Capitol. A committee may devote anywhere from one hour to several full meetings to each study. Frequently, local and national experts are invited to testify at interim study meetings. Interim studies rarely generate formal reports or recommendations, but their work can guide future legislation.

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